Couldn't make Harrogate this year (first time for several years) so did
I miss anything new? Obviously, I will have missed all of the absolute
bargins that you guys "stole" from the hard up traders but was there
anything new on display. I'm still looking for a milling machine and
still can't decide between a new VMC or secondhand Bridgeport. Anything
on show between these two machines in size? I really will need to get
on and make up my mind but everytime I look at the price (increasing?)
of a new VMC I think of how nice a Bridgeport I might be able to buy.
Best regards and hope you luckier types enjoyed the show.
Actually Keith... I don't think you did.
Normally I come away from Harrogate all fired up having seen new
wonders. Last year was the tracked engine and the Mercer car, year
before was the Jet engine display and the stunning Koeppler (I think)
We went on Saturday... and were disappointed that there was little that
was 'new' or 'different'. We also found the trade stands to be rather
'samey' this year with lots of the same old stuff being offered. Again
I normally come away with something or other that I just couldn't live
without (and then spend the rest of the year figuring out how I can use
it to justify the purchase to Christine.) But this year I bought a new
'bubble', and a casting for a 3" scale water lifter rose.
Perhaps I am just getting jaded... but it all seems a little flat
somehow. It was still good... but lacked it's usual sparkle.
Ian, thanks although I'm not sure if I should be pleased or not.
I have normally used Harrogate to fire my enthusiasm for the next year
or so, particularly as I can't make the London shows. I also found the
Mercer stunning and the guy that built it was extremely friendly and
happy to talk about it with anyone (including me!!)
I certainly felt the same way after last years "midlands show" but at
least that had a new location to look at.
I thought I was the only one that justified my purchase by showing the
wife (after a week or two) something that I just could not have
produced without the new tool. She caught me out last time though by
saying "you've made one of those before", I'll need to be more careful
she obviously takes more notice than I think.
I think I go through a "jaded" period every couple of years or so. Last
year I went to a much smaller show at Taunton, lots of models (all
standards) but very few traders; I found that quite a refreshing change
from the perfection we normally see.
Thanks Ian, I'll need to try and make the Bristol show this year for my
"injection of enthusiasm".
Best regards Keith
I was disappointed. I don't think that it was anything particularly wrong with
the exhibition. I just started of on the wrong foot:-(.
Saturday had been a long and stressful day re-terminating and re-patching
fibres and moving servers in the main computer room at work finishing at
18:30. I got up late on Sunday and nearly decided not to go to Harrogate.
Eventually I set off at 10:00 from Rugby. As I got level with Wakefield on a
surprisingly busy M1 in heavy rain and atrocious spray, the boss phoned me on
the mobile to ask how Saturday had gone. I didn't actually answer the phone
but the fact of being called when the boss specifically knew that I was going
to Harrogate turned my normal grumpiness into a rather foul mood.
When I got to Harrogate I saw John S at his new job frightening the punters
away from ArcEuroTrade's stand.
On the club stands I saw a couple of interesting stationary engines and a
couple of interesting clock mechanisms but not much else that took my fancy. I
had a look at the VMC type mills that seemed to be all over the place. I think
that I would go for a second hand Beaver, Adcock&Shipley or Bridgeport before
going for a new VMC if I were in the market.
I saw nothing new on the trade stands but was quite irritated to see the scrap
metal being passed off as valuable tooling on some of the second hand stands.
Making at least a token attempt to clean the rust off some of the offerings
would allow one to see if they were worth any more than £20/ton rather than
the insulting prices shown.
Maybe all of the saleable stuff went on Friday and Saturday :-(
Mark, I thought to be a boss you had to understand that there is
nothing in life as important as "THE JOB", funny thing though when you
get old (sensible?) enough to realize that this is NOT true then they
don't want to employ you anymore.
Bit harsh Mark, I'm sure John adds greatly to the attraction of
shopping from ArcEuro but I do hope his advice will remain free.
You will see from some of my previous posts I am still, and have been
agonising over just this question for some time now. I guess if I keep
looking and stay patient something I like will come along. I need to
learn how to spot the difference between a "goodun" and some of the
stuff you describe below!!
I'm sure that any proper analysis of the cost of moving this stuff time
and time again between shows would soon have it destined for China and
I used to think that but having fought with the first day crowds a few
times now I'm not so convinced that too many bargins are missed.
Anyway, Mark sorry you didn't have a stunning day but at least it
appears I haven't missed too much this time. Thanks
Best regards Keith
It's actually a part time job, someone has to empty Ketan's wallet for
Punters welcome, Reliant owners and tyre kickers stay away. .
Only speaking about this at the show, one large name S/H trader had a
4 jaw chuck on his stand for £75.
He's had it for at least 5 years, I make a point of looking for it.
4 jaw chucks are as accurate as the bloke on the end of the chuck key
so this one complete with dings and worn screws and key is about £20
more than a new Chinese one which the way things are going is now made
on equipment better than we had when this S/H one was made for Noar.
So this chuck was now done about 4 shows a year times 5 years with an
average distance of 500 miles per show, return.
So said chuck has now done 10,000 miles together with the other tat at
four and a bit quid per gallon.
So working the equation out if he had thrown this at next doors cat
when he first inherited it off Noar, not dragged it kicking and
screaming all round jolly old England and instead bought everyone on
this group a brand new chuck free of charge he would have been quid's
Bargains are in the eye of the beholder.
I saw one gadget bought on Saturday that the guy was well pleased
I would never have had a use for this and never bought it in a month
Visit the new Model Engineering adverts page at:-
I think traders are starting to price themselves out of the market, for
example an admittedly well presented Boxford for something daft like £1500
when you can get a perfectly good one form EBay for about £400 plus a tin of
paint!, or a rather damaged ex-demo garden loco with no guts for about £800.
There were good deals to be had but most were for new tooling, probably
Polish, the second hand stuff was just silly, I came away empty handed this
year and that's a first for me!.
I didn't buy much. A QC30 drill chuck, new at £25, set of allen keys,
set of small number stamps and a couple more bits.
Last year was the same but I put it down to the more shows you go to
the less there is to buy as you already have it.
I looked on a couple of tat stalls, sorry second hand stalls, and
realised that if I sorted my shop out I could exhibit the same or
Most of these are displaying goods that probably have a negative
equity, bought when prices were high but now the bottom has fell out
as regards general engineering in the UK that don't have a cat in
hells chance of recouping but they can't see that they need to dump
this and move on.
Good quality 5C and R8 collets were selling at £5.00 each at the show,
no sorting thru incomplete dinged sets of tat that may or may not run
So who's going to pay the £8 to £10 the secondhand people were asking
Visit the new Model Engineering adverts page at:-
I actually found a bit today by accident.
I was holding this big motor housing by the skin of it's teeth and
knocking big lumps off when it did the 1/2 expected and leapt out the
chuck and went bowling off down the shop scattering last weeks pie
crusts and chip wrappers.
Not to be daunted at such an event either that big spider that lives
at the back of the cutter grinder or whatever it is that lurks in the
coolant tank on the little TOS grabbed it and brought it to earth
The result is I now have three scrape marks on the floor at Pi * D of
the motor housing. If it had managed to reach the door I reckon I
could have gained enough to get a new machine in.
Visit the new Model Engineering adverts page at:-
......But they must sell a fair amount of stuff to justify the costs
of turning up, otherwise surely they would soon stop?
I must admit I bought something from one of the smaller used tool
stalls, everything he had seemed a bit pricey & he wasn't really
interested in haggling but he did happen to have *exactly* what I was
looking for (a particular style of DTI) in apparently good condition,
no-one else there had one & I'd recently missed out on one on ebay. I
paid him a couple of quid more than I had bid on ebay, at least I
could check it over in my hand before paying and there was no postage.
In fact, I've been making good use of it today. I must agree, I don't
see how this particular chap, & a few others like him, could have
turned much of a profit after paying transport & stall costs. Unless
they had a lot of customers like me who were looking for 'that
specific item'. They certainly wouldn't attract many impulse
purchases! The bigger used tool dealers may be pricey, but my
experience is that they will at least haggle if they think there's a
real prospect of a sale. Especially if it's the last day & it's
something heavy that they don't fancy carrying back to the shop!
Apart from that I came away with a couple of bits of Ali round bar
offcut for a specific job and a new book from Camden, some boxes of
5mm & 6mm drill bits (someone else is always breaking them for me )
but then emptied my wallet with a new far-eastern DRO kit for the
little lathe. I'd been looking in to getting some new scales to go
with an old Anilam counter that I have, but in the end this seemed the
most practical option. I could probably have got the same stuff direct
from the Orient via ebay for a bit less, but again was swayed by them
being able to put it into my hot little hand there & then, with
support within the UK and a fair chance the guarantee would be
honoured plus I knew exactly what I was paying. Buying stuff like that
from overseas is always a bit uncertain as to how much duty, VAT, PO
charges etc you'll be stung for. I enquired at the Chesters stand
about prices for new Newall DRO kit, very nice stuff but way out of my
price range & would have cost a fair bit more than the lathe did!
I agree about 'the more shows you go to...', I wasn't looking for much
specifically and I'm sure there's a lot less used stuff on offer
that's worth bothering with anyway than there was a little while ago.
On the other hand, apart from a *very* empty wallet I ought to be
pleased, as I came away with all the items I was specifically looking
for, including one (the DRO) that I wasn't expecting to get!
It seemed to me that there was less going on in the model areas than
last time I went (2 years ago), lots of classy models but any
interesting activity or anything out of the ordinary was inaccessible
because of the crowds of people around it (on Saturday afternoon)
Traditional & Modern canal craft repairs
Vintage diesel engine service
I went through 24 years at work thinking that. I worked myself into the
ground, thought a 60 hour week was acceptable if things weren't too busy and
that 15 hour day, seven day weeks were reasonable when working at site for a
few months. 2000 was a more hectic year than normal with a few too many
managers and far too few assistants. Five years worth of anti-depressants got
me back to a semi-human condition but I'm afraid that doing two people's work
for one person's wage is no longer attractive to me!
Actually, I think that it was probably VSE mills rather than VMC mills that I
was looking at. What crossed my mind was that the V** mills were about £4000
for which one could buy a reasonable used Adcock&Shipley, Beaver or Bridgie
and tools. Or one could buy the used machine and pay someone else to
recondition it and get a much heavier machine for the investment.
There again, I was never known for my common sense